Sources said last week that McCann's parent, the Interpublic Group of Cos., was still alive in the hunt for Oldsmobile, and that it was working on a new deal to pitch the business. McCann's renewed interest in the account follows IPG shop Lowe & Partners' recent notification that it was no longer in the review.
Meanwhile, Olds executives are traveling this week to New Orleans for the annual National Automobile Dealers Association meeting. And some close to the review have speculated that the Oldsmobile selection committee might use the occasion to announce that Burnett is keeping the business if they can reach that conclusion before the gathering.
Oldsmobile executives held a second round of meetings last week with at least two agencies that have been vying to unseat Burnett: Ayer and Ammirati & Puris. Hal Riney & Partners, agency for GM's hot Saturn division, is also believed to be a contender. For that matter, Olds has not officially taken Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, out of contention.
Ayer is GM's agency of record for corporate advertising. And Ammirati resigned its BMW of North America account after the company announced a review late last year.
Sources close to the review said that Olds took McCann - agency of record for Buick, GMC Trucks, and GM credit card - out of contention in early December. But, said sources, after Lowe was eliminated, a combination of IPG and McCann executives have been working on a plan to return to the pitch.
McCann would have to come up with a stunning presentation to merit serious consideration. Given Olds general manager John Rock's mandate to turn the struggling Olds division around, and distinguish it from other GM divisions, especially Buick, it would be difficult to sell dealers and the public that he can best do that by selecting Buick's agency of record.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)